Weekly Wrap-Up (May 26)

I know I keep complaining about the weather like some old woman but seriously, what is going on? It doesn’t feel like May at all! One day I’m outside in a short-sleeved t-shirt basking in the sunshine and the next I’m having to turn on the heating.

The reading slump, I’m sad to say, continues. When pulling weeds in the garden sounds more appealing than a book, I know I’m definitely in trouble. So, I watched The Hobbit trilogy. Yes, again. And the behind the scenes footage as well. I’m not even sorry!

Am I getting in trouble with my schedule? Why, yes but also no. There’s nothing quite as stressful as finishing a book the evening before your blog tour stop and writing your review the morning of, though, is there?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Utterly pathetic 😂. The Slaughter / Child collaboration doesn’t even count. It’s only about 85 pages. At least I’ve not missed a tour stop so far. Yet. I was hoping to add another one to that, which is for tomorrow’s blog tour but I’ve not finished it yet 😳

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I really enjoyed Alice Feeney’s previous book so I Know Who You Are was a no-brainer. And I’ve been hearing so many good things about The Dangerous Kind that I just had to buy it.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

One for a blog tour, one a proof copy. With thanks to Michael Joseph and One World Publications.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Nothing

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Breakers by Doug Johnstone

Friday : Forgot what I wanted to post here so didn’t post at all 🤣

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Anyone else missing the days where I posted every day like a mad woman? Just me? Okay then.

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Nothing

Friday : 20 Books of Summer Challenge

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I have a few busier weeks coming up the next few months but not as particularly crazy as I’ve been known to do. Which is good thing because as you can see from Friday’s post, I will be joining in the 20 Books of Summer Challenge again this year and I will, like last year, be reading those 20 books on top of my other commitments. Nothing like living a bit dangerously, especially in the middle of a reading slump 😂

This afternoon, I shall be finishing the book I’m currently reading for tomorrow’s blog tour. And then I’ll probably not be picking up another book for a few days and try not to worry about that or my schedule. But first, it’s civic duty time and voting.

Question of the week : Another easy one for you this week. What is your favourite book so far this year? I’ll even allow you to split your choices up into genres, if need be.

For me, it would be “The Taking of Annie Thorne” and in the historical fiction genre “Finding Dorothy”. Your turn!

That’s it! Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

Breakers by Doug Johnstone | @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #bookreview #RandomThingsTours

Delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Breakers by Doug Johnstone alongside my blog buddy Yvo. Make sure you check out her review too! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Doug Johnstone
Title : Breakers
Pages : 230
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mother. On a job, his brother stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead—and the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation, unless he drags her down, too.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Every once in a while, it really hits home how hard this reviewing malarkey can be. Especially when you come across a book like Breakers. While I was reading, I already realised there was no way any of the words I could possibly come up with would do this book justice.

Having only read Doug Johnstone’s previous book, Fault Lines, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Breakers but it soon became apparent Johnstone is seemingly somewhat of a chameleon who can seamlessly switch genres. In this case, from a dystopian novel to a psychological thriller. But not just any psychological thriller. This is one with a difference, incredibly original and with an amazing level of depth to it that you don’t always find in this genre.

Seventeen year old Tyler lives in Edinburgh with his mother and his seven year old sister. Life is hard in one of the most depraved areas of this city and Tyler is being bullied by his older half-brother into burgling houses of the more affluent residents. But one night, things go horribly wrong when a homeowner returns home unexpectedly and Tyler’s brother stabs her. Unbeknownst to them, this woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt, and he is not a man to be messed with.

This isn’t an easy story to read. It’s at times massively uncomfortable and immensely sad. Tyler’s circumstances are extremely heartbreaking and I really felt for him and everything he had to deal with on a daily basis. His love for his sister, Bean, and his fierce determination in protecting her and keeping her safe almost brought a tear to my eye. Stuck in this cycle of poverty, addiction and violence, Tyler goes out of his way to somehow create an environment of normalcy for his sister, a routine, all the while doing whatever he can to shield her from the things that are really going on around her.

A little beacon of light comes from a somewhat unlikely source when Tyler meets Flick. Flick is posh, goes to an expensive boarding school and drives a flashy car. She seems to have everything Tyler wants from life but looks can be deceiving. Watching their friendship develop was truly heartwarming. Flick sees Tyler the same way I, as the reader, did. As a young man who is good, who does good, but is also forced to do bad and unable to see a way out.

Breakers is quite dark and gritty. It’s tense and constantly has this sense of impending doom. I kept feeling deep down this couldn’t end well but was utterly unable to see how things would turn out. Tyler is one of those characters you become completely invested in, one you’ll root for all the way. This gripping, compelling, raw, sometimes brutal and utterly thought-provoking novel will make you reel against the injustice, will make you feel helpless, will put your own life into perspective and appreciate what you have. Breakers is a story that will stay with me for quite some time to come and I’m secretly hoping for a follow-up to see what becomes of Tyler and Bean.

Breakers is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh.
He’s had nine novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous
novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime
Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and
bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies
and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow.

He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative
writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors.
He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and
regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

This Week in Books (May 22)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

Will Trent is undercover at Fort Knox. His assignment: to investigate a twenty-two-year-old murder. His suspect’s name: Jack Reacher.

Jack Reacher is in Fort Knox on his own mission: to bring down a dangerous criminal ring operating at the heart of America’s military. Except now Will Trent is on the scene.

But there’s a bigger conspiracy at play – one that neither the special agent nor the ex-military cop could have anticipated. And the only option is for Jack Reacher and Will Trent to team up and play nicely. If they can…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mother. On a job, his brother stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead—and the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation, unless he drags her down, too.

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

‘…They’re here. They’re-‘

The message on Sara Prior’s phone contains the last words she will ever hear from her husband. Racing to find him, she discovers he has been brutally murdered.

While the police struggle to uncover evidence around this shocking crime, it becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. And she is not the sort of woman to let things lie. Following a hidden clue in her husband’s last desperate phone-call, Sara follows the trail to the house of the last person she’d expect . . .

Meanwhile DS Nathan Cody finds himself drawn into the darkest and most twisted case of his career. And this time things are about to get very very personal.

The reading slump continues. Cleaning The Gold is a mere 80 pages. It took me an entire afternoon to read and it’s the only thing I’ve read since Saturday. Send help! 😂

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @orendabooks @annecater #blogtour

I’m delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for the invitation and my fabulous review copy!

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Author : Doug Johnestone
Title : Fault Lines
Pages : 215
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : May 22, 2018

aboutthebook

In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch – the new volcanic island – to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body. Surtsey’s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact – someone who claims to know what she’s done.

mythoughts

How cool is that cover?! I’ve been drooling over it since I first spotted it on Twitter and after reading the book, I can tell you it fits the story perfectly as cracks start to appear everywhere!

Fault Lines is set in a very different Edinburgh than we are used to. Due to a tectonic fault, a new volcanic island appeared twenty-five years ago. Tremors happen every day and The Inch, as it’s called, is a fascinating research project for scientists and volcanologists. One of those volcanologists is Surtsey, named after an Icelandic volcano, but The Inch also means something different to her. It’s where she meets up with her lover, Tom, who’s also her boss and very married.

On one such illicit rendez-vous, Surtsey discovers Tom’s dead body. Wanting to protect Tom’s family and their reputations, Surtsey doesn’t mention this to anyone. But someone seems to know what has happened and things quickly spiral completely out of Surtsey’s control. Who is taunting her and what do they want?

As “luck” (slightly odd choice of words) would have it, I was reading this when the volcano erupted on Hawaii. This meant I had no problems whatsoever imagining the tremors, fissures and vents that seem to come straight from some blockbuster catastrophe movie. The storyline itself took me a little longer to get into. I didn’t particularly like Surtsey or any of the other characters, to be honest. They all seemed rather miserable, although in Surtsey’s case that is understandable since she has quite a few things going on. And maybe I’d be miserable too if I had to deal with tremors on a daily basis. However, the underlying tension, from both the tremors and the person taunting Surtsey, was intensely gripping and once the story really got going, I was absolutely hooked.

At just 215 pages, this is quite a short book and a bit of a slow-burner. However, it has a brilliantly crafted, dark plot that stands out from the crowd due to its uniqueness and originality. I must admit some of the science-y “it’s just rocks” stuff went completely over my head but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story at all and there were plenty of other things to sink my teeth into. I had one of those “eureka” moments where I figured out the who, but not the why. From then on, the tension slowly but surely built up and led to an incredibly explosive and satisfying ending that I was really not prepared for.

This is a psychological thriller with a difference that will have you glued to the pages and for me, it was a satisfying first introduction to author Doug Johnstone.

Fault Lines is now available in ebook format. The UK paperback is out on May 22nd!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had eight novels published, most recently Crash Land. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year.

Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow a Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and been Writer in Residence at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors a Moniack Mhor writing retreat.

Doug has released seven albums in various bands, reviews books for the Big Issue, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

Author links : Twitter

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This Week in Books (May 9)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.


Last book I finished reading

37849000

In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch – the new volcanic island – to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body. Surtsey’s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact – someone who claims to know what she’s done.

The book I’m currently reading

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Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King.

She has witnessed at first hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son . . . or face ruin.

This new queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne – in doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King?


What I’m (probably) reading next

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When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.

When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.

They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.

Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.

Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.

Can their unexpected friendship survive?

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What are you reading this week? Whatever it is, I hope it brings you hours and hours of lots of happy reading! xx